Chess is a game of tactical prowess, and as you progress through the ranks and become an advanced player, it can be challenging to know where to turn for further improvement.
Even as an advanced player, reading chess books is good practice to continue expanding your skills. Fortunately, our list of the top five best chess books for advanced players consists of resources that offer unique insights and strategies. Plus, you’ll learn from top players and coaches in the chess world.
For example, Endgame Strategy is a great chess book for highly-skilled players. It offers a detailed analysis of complex endgame scenarios which frequently decide the result of high-level matches.
So if you’re looking to master tactics or learn from historical chess matches, these books offer valuable knowledge that will take your skills to the next level.
Five Best Chess Books for Advanced Players
Whether you want to elevate your tactical skills or learn the ways of chess grandmasters, here are the five best reads for highly-skilled chess players:
This 1980s chess book by highly respected Soviet coach and player Mikhail Shereshevsky covers everything from basic endgame principles to advanced techniques.
With over 400 pages of analysis and instruction, this comprehensive guide is a must-read for any advanced player looking to improve their endgame skill.
Shereshevsky explains various endgame scenarios, including pawn, rook, and minor piece endgames.
He also emphasizes the importance of king centralization to support minor pieces and secure an endgame win.
The book made our list as grandmasters like Artur Yusupov and Jacob Aagaard highly regard it.
Well-known Russian chess coach Mark Dvoretsky penned this endgame tactics book, where players will learn the importance of grasping the complexity of each endgame position.
A critical takeaway from the book is the concept of prophylaxis, a crucial chess concept that prevents your opponent from achieving certain positions.
We highly recommend Silman’s Complete Endgame Course for players looking for a reference covering a complete endgame strategy approach. The book covers all facets of the endgame, from basic checkmates to complex pawn structures and positional play.
Through this book, Silman provides analyses and diagrams for essential concepts like opposition and triangulation in king and pawn endgames. He also includes practical exercises and quizzes for readers to test their understanding.
The book made our list mainly because American chess grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky recommends this classic.
Originally published in the 1960s, this Vladimir Vukovic classic remains a vital resource, especially for advanced players. Thankfully, the newer version of the book is available in a revised algebraic notation which is easier to understand.
Vukovic covers a wide range of attacking themes in this book, and one crucial attacking scheme you’ll learn is targeting a castled king. He also explains effective tactics like pawn storms and positional sacrifices.
This Silman book is a comprehensive guide that covers opening to endgame strategies used by notable grandmasters like Steinitz.
The book also contains a challenging puzzle series about checkmate sequences. You’ll also learn about rook endgames and other essential concepts, such as the Lucena and Philidor positions.
Chess Books to Learn Tactics and Preparations from Top Players
In addition to our top five picks, here are some recommendations for advanced players seeking to improve their game by learning tactics or preparation.
If you also love to dive into the history of chess, some of these books are impressive sources that include analysis from the minds of great chess grandmasters.
In this 5-part book series, 15-year grandmaster Garry Kasparov shares his analysis on the games of previous grandmasters like Emanuel Lasker and Mikhail Tal.
Apart from sharing his game viewpoint, Kasparov also writes about the biographies of these world champions. He penned the first part of the book in 2003.
Through this book, Ukrainian trainer and grandmaster Vladimir Tukmanov shares his insights on the importance of planning and opening preparation in ensuring wins.
Tukmanov also emphasizes the damaging effect of excessive reliance on chess engines and databases.
Choosing Chess Books for Advanced Players
Are you a 1600 or above-rated chess player new to reading reference materials for chess? Here are some factors you should consider in selecting the right book.
Weaknesses and Interest
As an advanced player, choosing reference materials that intrigue you best or can help improve your play is vital.
So if you think your tactics need work, you can opt for chess books dedicated to specific areas or concepts of the game.
Look for books written by top players or coaches to gain strategies from those who have achieved success at the highest levels of play. Researching the author and their credentials can ensure that you are in a reputable source with beneficial ideas to offer too.
Book Format, Complexity, and Publication Date
Would you like books with visual aids to help you understand concepts better? Would you like a physical copy you can annotate or digital copies for convenience and ease of access?
Asking yourself these questions will help you decide on picking the right book.
Another factor to consider is the publication date, as the latest books may offer up-to-date and newer strategies. Despite that, there are still decades-old books that contain promising tactics still relevant to modern chess. One example is Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess.
Ratings and Recommendations from Grandmasters or Top Coaches
Check out top-rated picks from chess communities, grandmasters, and coaches if you want to upskill like a pro. In fact, one of Norwegian chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen’s favorite chess books is My Great Predecessors.
Our top 5 best chess books for advanced players include excellent books on endgame tactics like Endgame Strategy by Mikhail Shereshevsky and Silman’s Complete Endgame Course by Jeremy Silman.
On the other hand, Jeremy Silman’s Complete Book of Chess Strategy is an all-around book that covers tactics from opening to endgame.
Lastly, The Art of Attack in Chess by Vladimir Vukovic is a timeless classic you shouldn’t miss if you want to elevate your attacking skills.